Skeete Suspended After Arrest

Ohio State has announced that redshirt freshman kicker Jonathan Skeete has been suspended following an early morning arrest on an outstanding warrant for drug trafficking. Story updated 5 pm EST with new information and quotes from OSU head coach Jim Tressel.

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has suspended kicker Jonathan Skeete for violation of team rules.

According to police reports, Skeete was arrested early Wednesday morning by University Police on a warrant for trafficking in marijuana. Details were still sketchy on when and why the arrest warrant naming Skeete had been filed, although according to legal documents, Skeete was charged after allegedly selling marijuana to undercover officers on two occasions, Feb. 11 and Feb. 19.

"Jonathan Skeete has been suspended indefinitely, pending the outcome of the legal process," Tressel said in a university release earlier today. "We will evaluate his status with the team after this issue has been resolved. This is a very serious issue and we will treat it as such."

Skeete, a freshman place-kicker from Gahanna, Ohio, was redshirted in 2004. He figured to be the backup to Josh Huston in 2005. He hit a 43-yard field goal in the spring game in April.

A short time ago, Tressel met with the media to discuss Skeete's situation.

"I really don't know much, other than what all of you know," Tressel said. "Jonathan Skeete has been arrested, and I believe he will be arraigned tomorrow. From our perspective, like all cases of this nature, he will be suspended indefinitely until we find out what goes on with the legal process."

Tressel added that he had not been in contact with Skeete and intimated that he expected Skeete to get in touch with him once he's able to do so.

OSU added Skeete as a late signee in June 2004. A strong student at Gahanna-Lincoln High School, Skeete picked OSU over Northwestern. He had reportedly been approved for an academic scholarship of some sort at NU.

Tressel was asked if he was surprised or shocked by these developments as Skeete was a national merit scholar at Gahanna Lincoln.

"Yep," Tressel replied. "You would think I've been at this long enough to not be shocked. It is human nature to believe the best and think the best. Obviously it surprised me."

Tressel also gave some background on Skeete and how he became part of the team.

"He's been a good kid and he works hard," Tressel said. "Obviously he's been an excellent student. Like many freshmen, he's been kind of in the background.

"He was actually a late addition (for the 2004 class). I think it was a little bit (Josh) Huston's injuries and depth-wise. Our staff looked for the next best candidate in all phases -- academically, kicking, and so forth. In June, he became a part of the team as a scholarship kid.

"From a kicking standpoint, he's made strides. He's improved."

Tressel had an already-scheduled team meeting today, which was a regularly-scheduled academic progress meeting that occurs every two weeks. He was asked if he had discussed the matter with the team at the meeting.

"Yes, I did have the floor for a little while," he said.

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